Soap nuts

I may have sounded like an earthy crunchy tree hugger in my recycling post, but the truth is that I am not.  That is why I only dabbled in cloth diapering and that is why, to my shame, I currently only have one light bulb in my house changed to the energy saving bulb.  I wish I was more earthy crunchy tree hugging type.  But another truth is that I like convenience.

I am proud of the fact I started using “reusable” bags 10 years before it became trendy.  And I bring empty water and soda bottles from work or from day-trips home to be recycled.  But these things are not that hard to do.

So, when I recently learned about soap nuts  from a friend’s blog, I was intrigued.  They are dried fruit from soapberry trees that can be used as laundry detergent.  You can use the nuts themselves, put 4 in a canvas bag and throw it in the washer or you can make liquid out of the nuts and use the liquid.  Convenient!  Easy!

Like my friend, I hate seeing large plastic containers in my recycling can. Even a family of three goes through a lot of detergent.  Especially if you have allergies and live with a clean freak who go through 2 sets of underclothes a day, who has also taught the little one to do the same. 

Personally, I don’t think  a kid needs to change underwear in the morning when she had a bath the night before, but may be that’s normal.  May be I’m just an unclean freak.  But I digress…

So, nuts that don’t come in large plastic container, that are cheap, that take up less space than equivalent bottles of detergent, that can wash the clothes the same is a no-brainer, right?  Why is this the first time I have heard of them?  Especially since I have skin allergies, am allergic to any fragrance, etc.  Did I mention that the nuts are fragrance free?

But I am a cautious soul and didn’t plunge right in.  I did some research, found a brand that was highly recommended, found a site that was basically giving away trial bags for free (plus shipping) and ordered my trial size bags.  I am finding out that not all nuts are the same but I am reading good reviews of NaturOli brand so I’ll probably buy my bulk from them.

I did my first load last night.  I took out the wet clothes and sniffed.  No smell!  Well, kind of a clean fresh smell.  Unfortunately we don’t generally have soiled clothes so it was hard to determine if the soap nuts actually cleaned the clothes.  I think on my next load, I’ll at least put a smudge on some thing.  But so far I am satisfied.  And excited!  I feel like every one should be told about this!  Why wouldn’t you want to use this???

Anyway, stay tuned!  I think my next load will be whites.


3 thoughts on “Soap nuts

  1. I think I’ll try that brand when mine are gone…I ran out of dishwasher detergent today, so I think I’m going to tie a bag to the silverware dispenser and see if they work well in there. Dave has septic/powdered anything issues, so I get to buy huge plastic bottles for the kitchen as well.

    He’s been using it on all our laundry, and so far everything comes out clean. And you know my kids are out rolling around in the mud all day, or it seems like they are.

  2. I have been using them for just over a year and absolutely love them. We decided that we wanted to be a chemical free household and started with soapnuts. At first you think these do not work but all it takes is a bit of faith and I never looked back, it is all about re educating yourself for years we have been taught that if it did not foam or soap up then it did not work but thats what these companies want us to think.
    I use Soda crystals to give them an extra boost and for whites bi-carb or borax added to the washing helps them along.
    If you want a smell then use essential oils in the fabric draw.
    Jules they do work in the dishwasher we just put some of the shells straight into the dishwasher and also pop some soda crystals in the dispenser as well.
    If you boil up some of the soapnuts to create a liquid, we use this in our carpet cleaner and surprising it works.

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